I am no longer blogging here at Little Nuances, but I would love for you to join me on my author website www.leewarren.info.

Friday, December 07, 2012

A Ghost of Sorts

When my oldest niece was a young child, I began singing “White Christmas” to her every year around this time in my best Bing Crosby voice.

“You sound like a ghost,” she said to me one year.

I kept singing.

“Ghost,” she said.

And then I lost it. I laughed so hard I had to stop singing. If a ghost could sing, he or she probably would sound like Bing Crosby singing “White Christmas.”

For the next couple of Christmases, she would not let me get any further than the first bar of the song without yelling, “Ghost!”

After she entered adulthood, she stopped doing it. I’m guessing it stopped being cool. But I have tried every year since then, to no avail. What I wouldn’t give to hear her say “Ghost!” again. I think I’ll try again this Christmas.

The funny thing is, I’m sure she hasn’t ever heard a ghost sing, but even as a kid, she picked up on the hollow, haunting way in which Bing/I delivered the song. They don’t make music like that anymore. The song just feels like Christmas, doesn’t it?

Crosby recorded his version of “White Christmas” in the 1940s. Those three minutes and eight seconds are frozen in time and they allow us to step back into another era – one in which U.S. involvement in WWII would start and end, full-scale commercial television broadcasting was in its infancy, Jackie Robinson signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers and “A Streetcar Named Desire” by Tennessee Williams opened on Broadway for the first time.

All of this was before my time, but I can still imagine it. As I do, it helps me put the stories my parents and grandparents told me about that era into perspective. So I guess one of the reasons I sing “White Christmas” to my niece every Christmas is because it connects me, and her, to the past and I think that is important.

And I guess that makes me a ghost of sorts.


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